In recent years, turnip greens were often overlooked as a food high in nutrition but now they are receiving praise from many health and nutritional experts.
But can bearded dragons eat turnip greens? Or are there simply better options out there?
In this post, we will dive deeper and use the opinions and research of veterinary experts so you can decide if turnip greens are something you want to add to your beardies diet or not.
First, let’s answer the main question…
So can bearded dragons eat turnip greens? Bearded dragons can eat turnip greens. They offer high amounts of essential nutrients such as calcium as well as a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio. Turnip greens also offer good levels of vitamins C & K. Overall, make turnip greens a healthy choice to add to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Read on to find out…
- 5 Amazing foods you should be feeding your beardie according to experts!
- The benefits & concerns of feeding your beardie turnip greens!
- If baby bearded dragons can eat turnip greens?
- How often to feed your bearded dragon turnip greens?
- How to quickly & easily prepare turnip greens for your beardie!
Turnip Greens | Nutritional Information
It’s important to understand the key nutrients that help a bearded dragon to live both a happy and healthy life.
One of the best ways to do this is to take a look at the nutritional information of the food as this will help you to decide if the food is worth adding to your beardies diet or not.
The main nutrients to look out for are fat, protein, sugar, sodium, calcium and phosphorus.
Don’t worry if you struggle to make sense of the information, we will point out the key benefits of turnip greens and explain all you need to know as a little later in the post.
Take a look at the nutritional data for turnip greens below…
Nutritional Information For Turnip Greens Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||7.13||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
|Vitamin A RAE||579||µg|
|vitamin A IU||11587||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turnip Greens? (A Closer Look)
Turnip greens are the stem or leafy greens part of the turnip. They are part of the cruciferous vegetable family with foods such as kale and broccoli.
Bearded dragons can eat safely turnip greens as part of their plant-based diet.
This is backed up by many vets and reptile nutritionists, who include turnip greens in their lists of safe foods for bearded dragons. Source:
As well as being a safe food for bearded dragons, turnip greens are also considered a really healthy green that you should aim to add to their diet regularly.
This is due to the high levels of key nutrients it contains such as calcium and low levels of unwanted nutrients like sugar.
Let’s now take a look at the key benefits and potential downsides of feeding your bearded dragon turnip greens…
What Are The Benefits Of Bearded Dragons Eating Turnip Greens?
As we previously mentioned, turnip greens offer high levels of nutrients that are both healthy and vital for bearded dragons.
The nutrients include…
- High Levels of Calcium
- A Healthy Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
- Healthy Amounts of Vitamins A & C
- Low Levels of Sugar
Here’s a more in-depth look at each of the nutrients in turnip greens and why they are important to bearded dragons…
Turnip Greens Are a Great Source Of Calcium
Calcium is a nutrient that’s vital to the health of bearded dragons. Without a regular intake of calcium, bearded dragons would suffer from severe bone and muscle issues.
You can learn all you need to know about why calcium is important to beardies in less than 5 minutes in our free calcium guide here…
The good news about turnip greens is they are full of high-quality calcium. By taking a look at the table above you can see that they contain 190mg of calcium per 100g.
To put this into perspective, this is more than spinach, broccoli and asparagus.
Here’s the amount of calcium that turnip greens, spinach, broccoli and asparagus contain per 100g…
- Turnip Greens – 190mg
- Spinach – 99mg
- Broccoli – 47mg
- Asparagus – 24mg
This is by far one of the main reasons why turnip greens are a great choice to add to your beardies diet on a regular basis.
Healthy Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
In addition to the importance of high calcium levels, the ratio between calcium and phosphorus is also something that is key to the health of bearded dragons.
Phosphorus can bind to calcium and stop it from being absorbed, which means that it’s important to not just offer foods that are high in calcium but also foods that are low in phosphorus too.
According to Vetstream, the optimal ratio for calcium to phosphorus is 2:1.
As you can see from the table we provided, turnip greens offer 190mg of calcium and 42mg of phosphorus per 100g.
This is a ratio of over 4:1 and even better than the 2:1 ratio that Vetstream recommends.
This is another reason why turnip greens are considered a great choice of food for your beardie.
Turnip Greens Contain Vitamins A & C
Aside from offering high levels of calcium, turnip greens also contain lots of other vitamins and minerals.
The vitamins that we would like to point out are vitamin A and vitamin C as these two are the most abundant.
Turnip greens are abundant in vitamin A, and also contain high volumes of beta carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A.
Vitamin A helps with many functions throughout the body but the ones that are most relevant to bearded dragons are listed below. Source:
- Supporting Bone Health
- Aids Growth & Reproduction
Turnip greens also offer a healthy dose of vitamin C which also has many positive effects on health and two of these are listed below. Source:
- Supports Growth
- Repair & Development Of Body Tissues
Are there Downsides to Bearded Dragons Eating Turnip Greens?
Turnip greens are such an amazing green to feed to your beardie and there aren’t really any downsides to offering this food as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
The only concern may be that if you are giving your beardie a multivitamin supplement then feeding lots of greens that are high in vitamin A can sometimes cause vitamin A toxicity.
This is because the multivitamin supplement will usually contain all the vitamin A your bearded dragon needs and then adding lots of greens that are also high in vitamin A can cause toxicity.
The symptoms of these include nausea, diarrhoea and lack of appetite. Once the dosage of vitamin A is reduced then things will usually go back to normal pretty quickly.
This really isn’t something to worry about and if you aren’t feeding your bearded dragon a multivitamin supplement then you usually won’t have any of these problems at all.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Turnip Greens?
Turnip greens are an excellent choice of food to add to your baby bearded dragons food bowl.
The high levels of calcium and healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio make turnip greens one of the best choices for growing beardies.
Because baby and juvenile dragons are growing at such a fast pace, they need high amounts of protein and calcium to support the growth.
You can see just how fast a baby beardie grows in our easy to follow guide with charts here…
Do Bearded Dragons Like Eating Turnip Greens?
Bearded dragons generally love leafy greens such as turnip greens. They are easy to eat and don’t offer any sharp or unwanted tastes.
Having said this, every beardie is different and while some will love turnip greens others simply won’t.
The best thing you can do is try them in your dragon’s salad bowl and see if they enjoy them.
Bearded dragon owners often feed their beardies a variety of greens, veggies and fruits but some might not always be as healthy as you think.
We have researched and written detailed posts on 2 foods that are increasing in popularity for bearded dragons, you can check them out below…
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turnip Greens?
If you have followed this post so far then you will know that will love turnip greens and we recommend you add them to your beardies diet on a regular basis.
Because they are an excellent source of calcium and low in phosphorus and sugar you can feed turnip greens to your bearded dragons daily if you wish as part of their staple diet.
You should also try and include other high calcium foods such as kale and collard greens.
We will provide a list of 5 bonus greens that experts recommend you feed your bearded dragon at the end of this post, so make sure to check that out.
What’s The Best Way to Prepare Turnip Greens For Bearded Dragons?
Sometimes providing healthy greens on a daily basis for your beardie can be time-consuming.
We have put together a simple guide that shares the easiest way to prepare foods for your bearded dragons.
The good news about turnip greens is that there really isn’t much preparation needed before you can add these to the salad bowl but we have created this short guide to help anyway…
Organic If Possible – We always like to start by saying that if you can source an organic option then we would recommend purchasing it. It’s very important to feed your beardie greens that are pesticide and herbicide-free and opting for organic is our favourite option if possible.
Time to Wash – It’s always important to give any greens, veggie or fruits a thorough wash and the same goes for turnip greens. You can then pat them dry with a paper towel.
No Need to Cook – There’s no need to cook the turnip greens as they are already soft and eat to consume. Cooking will only decrease the nutritional value of the greens.
Give Them a Chop – Depending on the size of the greens you can chop them to make them easier to consume and fit in the salad bowl.
Ready to Serve – After these simple steps, you are now ready to serve the turnip greens to your dragon. We recommend mixing them with other highly nutritious and calcium-rich greens and veggies.
5 Bonus Greens Experts Highly Recommend
It’s important to provide your dragon with a variety of nutrient-dense and calcium-rich greens and veggies to support their growth and maintain their health.
Sometimes it can be hard to know which foods are a good option and which ones aren’t.
We’ve put together a list of 5 greens that reptile experts highly recommend for bearded dragons.
The greens and veggies that are recommended are…
- Dandelion Greens
- Bok Choy
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
We have also put all these 5 foods in a table so you can see the value of the key nutrients side by side…
Nutritional Information Per 100g (Top Greens)
|Name||Dandelion Greens||Mustard Greens||Swiss Chard||Bok Choy||Kale|
|Water||85.6 g||90.7 g||92.66 g||95.32 g||89.63 g|
|Energy||45 Kcal||27 kcal||19 kcal||13 kcal||35 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||2.86 g||1.8 g||1.5 g||2.92 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||0.42 g||0.2 g||0.2 g||1.49 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2 g||4.67 g||3.74 g||2.18 g||4.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||3.2 g||1.6 g||1 g||4.1 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||1.32 g||1.1 g||1.18 g||0.99 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||115 mg||51 mg||105 mg||254 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||46 mg||37 mg||55 mg|
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